As far as the tech world goes, the Internet is one big rumor mill. There’s hardly a company these days that can keep its new products a secret until the official announcement date. Now it seems that the maker of everyone’s favorite action camera, GoPro, has fallen victim to an information leak: details about the allegedly upcoming GoPro Hero POV cam are circulating on the Net, which claims enhanced 4K video capture and a boost to specs. Based on the specs, the new camera may seem like a typical upgrade, but there’s actually some significant tech here.
If one had to make a guess, this new camera would probably be called the Hero4. Reportedly, the GoPro Hero4 will record 4K video at 30 frames per second, and will be able to shoot Full HD 1080p video at frame rates of up to 120 fps. For true slow-motion video, the camera is said to support 720p HD video at 240 fps.
Now, you might be wondering what’s so unique about the ability to record in 4K, since the current Black Edition of the Hero3/Hero3+ cams tout it as one of its feature. While the current cameras could technically handle 4K, it’s more of a novelty and not particularly useful due to the 15-fps frame rate – not the smoothest video you’ll see. According to reports, the Hero4 could possibly use the new A9 dual-core 1GHz system-on-chip component from Ambarella (which makes SOCs for GoPro) that would allow the camera to record 4K with faster frame rates, in the H.264 codec (it’d also handle the other aforementioned video resolutions). Ambarella has officially released A9 specs details, but from the looks of the new SOC, the board seems a bit large for a GoPro camera. It’s speculated that Ambarella could use the A9’s design in a board made specifically for GoPro. (There’s also the issue of how to handle large 4K files, but flash memory card makers like Toshiba are already on it.)
Further alleged specs of the Hero4 include a new 13-megapixel sensor and a new lens with better low-light capabilities, electronic image stabilization for shake-free video, an in-camera HDR mode with tone mapping, and remote viewfinder playback (which should come in handy if you’d like to see a live-view of what the camera records, but cannot look at its display due to the way the camera is mounted). As for connectivity, the Hero4 will have a USB and an HDMI port, as well as an integrated Wi-Fi module – things that are already in the current cams.
According to the report, the Hero4 will arrive some time this summer, and its retail price can be expected to be similar to that of its predecessors. Since we don’t know where exactly this leaked information came from, we’ll have to take it with a grain of salt until GoPro makes its official announcement (heck, who knows if Hero4 will be the final name). However, judging by the specs above, it seems entirely possible that this is what we’re going to see in the next GoPro action camera.